One of my favourite Twitter follows is a foreign correspondent for Sport-Express, which is Russia’s sports daily. He’s also an NHL.com contributor, and apparently a hockey dad of moderate craziness. (That’s me re-writing his Twitter bio.)

Anyway, he’s one of the most in-touch hockey writers I’m aware of when it comes to foreign-born (mostly Russian) players, and he just dropped the following two tweets:

 

Could Kovalchuk and others stay in Russia? It’s possible, and he clearly wants to give the All-Star game a go. The NHL doesn’t exactly have a whole ton of options to stop guys who don’t want to come back.

I wrote more on this earlier today, which you can check out here.

Updates to follow.

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UPDATES:

From earlier:

 

Katie Strang of ESPNNewYork had this to add:

A source told ESPNNewYork.com that Kovalchuk as well as other Russian players expressed concern to the NHLPA Friday about their reluctance to return to North America, with escrow being the key issue.